Disneyland’s new Fantasy Faire is about much more than princess meet-and-greets, even though it is a fabulous spot to get a picture with a favorite Disney princess. Fantasy Faire is a much needed expansion to Fantasyland to showcase some of the well known stories and characters that make Disney so popular, especially with children. It’s a beautiful place full of creative details to discover, a new theater for laugh out loud shows, shops, including a food card with unique treats, and of course, the gorgeous Royal Hall, providing a meeting place fit for…well, royalty.
Fantasy Faire is the perfect, much needed expansion on Fantasyland next to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and it’s designed to feel as though it has always been a part of the landscape. The area was formerly Carnation Plaza, and the Fantasyland expansion is a great use of an under utilized area. (For the traditionalists, swing dancing will continue in the Royal Theatre.) Fantasy Faire is reminiscent of a charming European village with the Royal Hall as its main venue. Royal Hall is instantly recognizable for the adoring crowd of young princesses waiting to meet the Disney princesses in a venue fitting royalty. It has a rich interior, with wood and royal colors that not only make the princesses seem more regal, but better pictures can be expected, and really, as a mom, I can say that pictures from Disneyland mean a lot. The Royal Hall setting feels like a professional shoot. Now, instead of posing for photos along Main Street, taking photos inside Royal Hall gives the appearance of a meeting a princess in her home.
While meeting a princess is fun, it’s the Royal Theatre shows that cannot be missed. The shows have a light feel to them, with live music, and witty banter. Currently, two shows are performed, one with Belle from Beauty and the Beast and the other with Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled. I saw the show with Belle, and not only were the kids laughing, but I was too. I laughed a lot. It was almost embarrassing. It’s more of the Disney duality mentioned yesterday in regards to Mickey and the Magical Map. It’s enjoyable for everyone when all ages have something to laugh about. (While over at California Adventure, my husband and son saw Aladdin and my husband repeated the jokes to me for the rest of the afternoon.) When I saw the show, the kids in the audience were mostly boys, who were all guffawing over the jokes, proving that Fantasy Faire isn’t only for princess-loving kids. Show up early to get seats – there are benches and room on the floor up close to the small stage. It’s an intimate setting, which is perfect for a performance, but it also means seating is limited.
Fantasy Faire has shopping and food, too. The shop features all the princess gear your princess wants, and the food is owned by Belle’s father, Maurice. Maurice’s Treats has pastries, including chocolate, strawberry, or cheddar twists (we tried the chocolate twist and it was great, somewhat like a chocolate croissant, and definitely big enough to share) and to drink, Boysen Apple Freeze, a combo of 100% apple juice and berry juice – we’re kicking ourselves for forgetting to try this – that can be served in a princess goblet or beast stein.
Photos courtesy of Disneyland